Things you’ve said under your breath.

Things people have said with their last dying breath.

Things that drive people to drink.

Things that made Jesus think, “Maybe I’m in the wrong line of business…”

Things you can only find in Detroit.

Things that make you jump for joy.

Things that make people jump from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Things that get stuck between your teeth.

Things you’ve stuck in your ear, up your nose, or up your butt.

Things that change from ugly to beautiful.

Things that frighten you.

Things that enliven you.

Things to help raise your credit score.

Things to help lower your cholesterol.

Things organisms have done to adapt & survive.

Things that make certain men become priests.

Things that make certain women wrestle alligators.

Things serial killers think about.

Things you find in a dead man’s pockets.

Things you find in your own pockets.

Things named after Greek Gods.

Things people have done in the name of God.

Things that cause acne.

Things that cause cancer.

Things to consider before having a baby.

Things to consider before joining the French Foreign Legion.

Things you’d do if you had wings.

Things you’d do if you had the Green Lantern’s power ring.

Things to help clear your aura.

Things you can clear out of your orifices.

Things you should always buy generic.

Things you’ve always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask.

Things associated with winter.

Things associated with summer.

Things you’d do if you only had a week left to live.

Things you’d do if you were President.

Things the atom bomb thinks before going boom.

Things the flower bud thinks before going bloom.

Things they put into processed meats.

Things you do during the five stages of grief.

Things you’ve learned from the Bible.

Things you’ve learned from the National Enquirer.

Things to say while sexting.

Things you should never say to someone who’s depressed.

Things you forget.

Things you desire.

Things you’ve done while under the influence of drugs.

Things you’ve done while under the influence of love.

Things that make you go “Hmmm…”

Things you see when staring up at clouds.

Things your pets do when you’re not around.

Things you can smoke.

Things you can recycle.

Things behind the sun.

Things to make your car run better.

Things you find alongside the road

Things you find washed up on the beach.

Things you build.

Things you compete for.

Things you do when you’re alone in your room.

Things Van Gogh thought just before cutting off his ear.

Things that go in one ear and out the other.

Things you can burn.

Things you can save.

Things to say to get a girl wet.

Things to say to get a guy hard.

Things to say to get kicked off jury duty.

Things you can carry.

Things you can hide.

Things that decay.

Things that rejuvenate.

Things made of plastic.

Things made of corn.

Things put into time capsules.

Things put into compost piles.

Things that live under your skin.

Things you find around Jim Morrison’s grave.

Things that remind you of Buddha.

Things that remind you of Judas.

Things your doctor won’t tell you.

Things your parents won’t tell you.

Things your lover won’t tell you.

Things your best friend won’t tell you.

Things the major corporations won’t tell you.

Things the government won’t tell you.

Will never tell you.

Click here to see the author recite this piece.

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RICH FERGUSON has performed nationally, and has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, T.C. Boyle, Jerry Stahl, Bob Holman, Loudon Wainwright, Ozomatli, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, South by Southwest, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, Stephen Elliott’s Rumpus, and with UK-based poetry collective One Taste. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (the sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film 1 Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, Krishna Das, and others. He has been published in the LA TIMES, Opium Magazine, has been widely anthologized, spotlighted on PBS (Egg: The Art Show), and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, LA. His spoken word/music videos have been featured at poetry film festivals throughout the world. Ferguson is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and a poetry editor at The Nervous Breakdown. His poetry collection 8th & Agony has been published by L.A.’s Punk Hostage Press.

34 responses to “A World of Things”

  1. nigel says:

    This is a beautiful and brilliant poem, thank you for posting this.

  2. Ducky Wilson says:

    I just finished reading Listi’s “Plume” and the way you end this makes me think of that plume the government says is nothing to worry about, which I don’t believe, which means Obama is lying to me, and that makes me sad. I loved Obama.

    I tried to eat an apple at Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise and was busted by the gendarme. Apparently, it was considered a picnic, which isn’t allowed. I don’t think Morrison would have approved of the way the French guard his grave. I think he’d like the thought of people eating over him.

    “Things that change from ugly to beautiful” – this is my favorite line. Somehow, I feel you wrote this one for me. Thanks.

    • Thanks for reading, Ducky. And thanks for the wonderful comments as well. Loved what you had to say about Morrison. I, too, think he’d love to have people eating over him. Peace.

  3. Slade Ham says:

    Things that make me crazy happy when I have a buzz….

    Namely, RF posts that I stumble upon at 3:30 in the morning.

  4. “Things you’ve done while under the influence of drugs.

    Things you’ve done while under the influence of love.”

    Damn straight, man. On the mark.

  5. James D. Irwin says:

    Man, there are too many lines here I want to tell you I love… the first four had me hooked though, and I like the two David picked out…

    Love the atom bombs and flower buds too… but y’know… it’ll be quicker to just let you know I love it all than type out all my favourite parts…

  6. Rich…I always enjoy your beautiful FB postings/musings. I appreciate the way you fit together the pieces of the world with words. Provoking and thoughtful, bittersweet and lovely.

  7. Steve says:

    Dam good job as always brother…

  8. Chris says:

    Things i needed to read – thanks Rich

  9. Lorna says:

    Things I’m happy to have made time to read…….

  10. Brad Listi says:

    Another classic Richrant.

    I fuckin’ hate things. They bug the shit outta me.

    Remember that song “Things That Make You Go Hmmmm”?

    It’s been on my mind lately for some reason…in my mental loop.


  11. jmblaine says:

    come home.

    All is

  12. Gloria says:

    A list that can be added to ad infinitum. Not exhaustive, but exhausting. And fun. A dance in Rich’s brain. Thanks for posting this.


  13. Joe Daly says:


    As I got down to the “things serial killers think about,” I realized that each one of these things could easily break down into their own piece. I like the shock value between the subjects, I like the theme, and I love the rhythm.

    Well done, brother. Hope to see you back up in LA soon.

    • Bingo, Joe! One of the reasons I created this piece the way I did was because I wanted it to serve as a list where any one part of it could spin off into its own list which could then potentially create other lists. Thanks for reading/watching, and I look forward to seeing you back here in LA one of these days soon.

  14. pixy says:

    i thought once about joining the french foreign legion… the first thought was:
    “do they take chicks?
    because i don’t think they do.

  15. Esther Sanchez says:

    Things that remind me how much I luv me a little glimpse in Rich Ferguson’s brain.

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